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How to Know If Your Baby Is Getting Enough Breast Milk

Learn how to know if your baby is getting enough milk from lactation consultant Melissa K. Nagin in this Howcast video.


A lot of moms are very concerned about knowing how much they're producing for their baby or how do we know how much the baby is getting or how do I know that the baby is even doing well. It's actually very difficult to tell how much you're producing. We don't want to pump, as I've heard many times before, and see how much you're pumping because the pump is a very inaccurate gauge of how much you're actually making. The baby will always get more at the breast than the pump will ever get out. So that is the first thing to just recognize.

With breastfed babies, we focus on three things; whether they're peeing, they're pooping, and they're gaining weight. Those are our three keys.

Sometime's it's very hard to tell how many times a day the baby should be peeing or pooping. Ideally we'd say we want them peeing about eight to ten times a day, and we would love to see about four to six poops a day. Sometimes they're all mixed in, and we don't know if there is pee in there. A lot of times it's all mixed together. A lot of times you have a baby that poops once or twice a day, and that's still very normal. Most breastfed babies, however, because it's the most digestible food will poop every single time they have a feeding or soon after.

In those poops, we also want to make sure that they're yellow, mustardy, and seedy. Once in a while if you have a green one, that's okay. The yellow, mustardy, seedy ones are actually, we know that they're getting to the hindmilk. When we have a green, sort of salady-looking one, that's a little bit more of the fore milk. That's okay every now and then.

We also, above all else, want to make sure that their weight is going up and up and up. And your pediatrician will absolutely guide you as to whether or not they're happy with their weight gain. But in general, the pees, the poops, and the weight gain are markers for seeing how well they're doing and for how much milk you're making.

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